MOU to Strengthen Real Estate Data Exchange

Oct. 3, 2017, 6:25 a.m.


Real time data on property transactions and other vital information will be better accessed by the Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority (FRCA), following an MOU with the Real Estate Licensing Board (REALB) in Suva yesterday.

The signing will give FIRCA information on property purchase and sales, and the exact number of registered real estate agents in the country.

“A number of properties are sold every month and this MOU will ensure that we get some real time data on these sales and whether it gets reflected in the tax collection for that particular month,” said FRCA Acting CEO, Visvanth Das.

Mr Das noted the stigma of tax fraud and money laundering attached to real estate in most countries, alongside generating and investing unreported income, with Fiji not being exempted.

“In Fiji, there have been few cases where large amounts of cash have been used to purchase properties and the source of these funds unknown. With this MOU, we will now request for all this information from the REALB,” he highlighted.

REALB Registrar and Acting CEO, Virisila Tuimanu said the MOU would commit both parties to achieving legitimate, accountable and responsible practitioners within the real estate industry.

“Each party will pursue many significant activities, such as the exchange of information relating to real estate dealings and of course, tax obligations of real estate agents, which is often an area of concern,” she highlighted.

REALB oversees the tax compliance of applicants when issuing licenses, and this has a significant effect in the application itself, with commission statements having to reflect the VAT amount paid to FRCA.